KNHP celebrates NPS centennial

CALUMET TOWNSHIP – The National Park Service is 100 years old, and there are celebration events all over the country, including at the Keweenaw National Historical Park.

Drew Cramer, the KNHP Centennial lead ranger, said although the park conducted some events related to the centennial last year, and in May and July, the big day for events will be Aug. 25, which is the Park Service Founder’s Day.

On Aug. 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the legislation creating a new bureau within the Department of Interior called the National Park Service. Its task was to protect the existing 35 parks and monuments then managed by the Department of Interior and to do so for the parks and monuments created in the future. In 1992, President George H. W. Bush signed legislation creating KNHP.

Cramer said in 2015, KNHP did have a few events to acknowledge the upcoming sesquicentennial.

“We had a handful of things around the centennial theme,” he said.

This year on May 23 and 24, Cramer said KNHP hosted about 400 fourth grade students from Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties. There were 20 activity stations for the students to visit.

“Each school got to go to three stations,” he said.

On July 17, Cramer said the Friends of Fashion gave a presentation at the Calumet Theatre with models wearing vintage clothing while a narrator spoke about the history of the Calumet area.

On Aug. 25, Cramer said events include activity stations on geocaching, copper sorting, a foundry demonstration, and face painting from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Quincy Unit of the park on the grounds of the Quincy Mine Hoist Association. There will be free food and drinks offered at noon, also.

From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the KNHP Calumet Visitor Center various activity stations outside the building will have demonstrations, including geology, panning for copper, quarrying, geocaching, animal costuming, and face painting.

At 6 p.m. in Calumet, Cramer said there will be a children’s bicycle parade with the theme of Animals of the National Parks. Awards for the best costumes will be given out at 7 p.m.

In autumn, Cramer said more centennial events will take place. The KNHP will be partnering with the Copper Country Cycling Club as they do a fall tour of the area.

“It’s part of trying to connect with the next generation,” he said.

Although there have been celebrations around the country already for the NPS centennial, Cramer said Aug. 25 is the big day.

“Most parks are having events on Founder’s Day,” he said.

Those attending the events at either the Quincy Unit or in Calumet will receive coupons for $5 off admission to some KNHP Heritage Sites.

Although there is no fee to attend the various centennial events, Cramer said donations will be accepted.

More information about the NPS centennial celebration can be found on the KNHP website at nps.gov/kewe/index.htm.